Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

November Expenses... right on target!

When we make up our budget for the following month, it's obviously just a guess. And we are usually above budget because 1), there are so many variables, and 2), we always purposely guess a bit low to give ourselves a goal to keep expenses in line. 

So at the end of October, I posted that "we have a budget of about $2,900 CAD ($2,088 USD) for the month of November"... and we ended up spending exactly $2,922 CAD ($2,165 USD) in total. 

Pretty much right on target! The $USD total is not quite as close as the $CAD total because the $USD dropped in value during the month. I only post the $USD for the benefit of our American readers.

We spent the entire month in the "stan" countries. We started off in Uzbekistan, but visited Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan as well. Four different countries during the month.


Here's how it all broke down... (the following figures are in $CAD)...

Groceries: We ate most of our lunches and dinners out, but we still had to buy the fixings for breakfast and snacks along the way. This actually added up to more than I thought it would. We spent a total of $187 on groceries for the month. Of course that sounds super low to most of our readers... but we made up for it with meals out!

Meals out: We spent a total of $553 eating out. Again, that was most of our lunches and dinners for the month. And that included the fairly expenses meal for Ruth's birthday dinner

Alcohol: We took it easy on the booze in November. Spent a total of $69 for the month. Of course that included a fair bit of vodka, which is super cheap in the "stan" countries!

Miscellaneous: Not bad, at $390, but that included the medical costs of getting the laser treatment ($90) done on my other eye, and the blood tests ($93) for my heart health neither of which were included in our original budget for the month. The balance included quite a few taxis ($124), which are super cheap when you look at the cost of a single ride, but obviously add up over the course of a month!

Entertainment: About as expected, at $132. About half of that was related to our old Soviet airplane flight. And the balance on visiting various caves and parks and ferris wheels!

Overnight: About as expected, at $1,038 for the month. An average of $35.80 CAD ($26.50 USD) per paid night. It was actually quite a bit cheaper per night until we spent the last week in Almaty at a private apartment that was $50 CAD ($37 USD) per night. That brought the average up a bit.

Travel: We used a lot of trains, planes, and automobiles during the month! For all of our long distance taxi rides, bus rides, train rides, and flights, we spent a total of $554 traveling between all of the "stan" countries. 

So, a total of $2,922 CAD ($2,165 USD) for the month of November. Not bad.

For December, we have a budget of $2,400 CAD ($1,780 USD) for the month. That includes the $605 CAD ($448 USD) that we have already spent to get to Thailand from Kazakhstan. It's a bit of a tough budget to figure out because we really don't know what we're doing or where we're going when we leave Bangkok on the 8th. Guess we should put some thought into that soon!

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And in Canada...

Record low deal on the Apple Watch Ultra.

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